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Annals of the DeRosset Family 
as compiled from original documents by 

Catherine DeRosset Meares 





Part B: pages 34 to 62 

Scanned from a copy of the book in the possession of 
James Bailey deRosset oj Asheville, North Carolina, 2012 



King's Councillor for the Province of North Carolina. 

Councillor deRosset. 
Copy of common to Levis Henry ****, appointing him „ member 

Governor Dobbs. 

By their Excellencies the Lord Justices. 

Thos Cantuar: 

Marlborough. Granville P. Gower C P. & 

so doing this shall be your warrant q " deceased > «"<* for 

s^issrss °' j ™ - * ,ht ""*-»"' "» - » ■**» ->««, 

To Gabriel Johnson Esqr. His Majesty's Claudius Amgard. 

Governor of the Province of North Carolina 
in America. And in his absence, to the Commander 
in chief or to the President of His Majesty's 
Council of the said Province for the time 

This document bears on the left side Seal with two roses Al*n th~ 
and 6 pence each. *' AUo three ****** stamps, u shillings 

Lewis H the elder of the two sons brought to Carolina by their parents Dr 
Armand John (1) and "the T i^ „f tt^+- » ■ . parents, ur. 

ahmit V709 . a , * Ucetia ' was bo ™ «> Montpelier, France, 

about 1788 and was g.ven the name of his grand-father, Louis deRousset „f rt! 
French, and later of the British army In 1 7« V» 7 ' , USSet ' of the 

niii tfQ K \ i_ , , y ' ' ° 5 he "'arried Margaret Walker 

(1733-1785), whose brother, Capt. James Walker, became later the husband of 
W mece, Magdalene M duBois. His letters bear ample te^Lony t h if 
tender love and affection for her, y t0 Jns 

"^ d f " ™ 5 > - d L °™ H. deRosset, her husband, died Feb- 
ruary 88, 1786 m London, England, an exile in 1779 from the Province Thev 
had no ;ssue. "Uncle Lewis" being the elder son was the head of the fan^ 

Page Thirty-Four 



and after the death inl759 of his brother* Moses John* he was its sole representa- 
tive in public affairs. 

The Colonial Records of North Carolina bear witness to the value of his ser- 
vices. In 1751 he represented Wilmington in the House of Burgesses at Newbem 
— serving on important com mitt ees with men of distinction. He was Chairman 
of Public Accounts for years, and Justice of the Peace ("Quorum") appointed 
by the Council In 1752 he was commissioned Member of the King's Council, 
under Governor Gabriel Johnston, which office he held under successive Governors, 
"until the end of the Royal Government, discharging at different times some of 
the most important offices." In 1754 he was appointed Commissioner "for 
stamping and emitting the sum of 40,000 pounds publick bills of credit." In 
1761 he resigned the office of "Receiver General of His Majesty's Quit Rents in 
the Province." (John Rutherford was appointed his successor,) 

"Honorable Lewis deRosset was Adjutant General on General Hugh WaddelFs 
Staff in the war of the Regulators in May, 1771." 

He was also Lieut.-Gen. of Provincial Troops under Governor Tryon in 1768. 

As a Member of the Council and of the Assembly his intelligent activity for the 
interests of the Province is abundantly shown. He seems to be ever on the alert 
to obtain some advantage for his own section, though equally thoughtful for the 
general welfare of the State and constantly introducing bills for internal im- 
provements of all kinds. As witness the following: A bill for leave to build a 
Church of St. James' Parish ; for regulating the exports of the Cape Fear ; for 
appointing inspectors in New Hanover County ; to petition the Postmaster Gen- 
eral to establish a Post Office in the Province; to establish quarantine at "The 
Fort ;" for leave to build a Church at Brunswick and for appointing a committee 
to receive subscriptions therefor. 

These are only a few of the objects he had at heart for the good of Church as 
well as State, and which he was largely instrumental in securing. 

As a Christian, he was reverent and devout ; as a Churchman, loyal in spirit 
and active in good works. Following in the footsteps of their father, he and his 
brother, with their kinsmen of the Walker family, were prominent among the 
founders of the Parish Church of St, James. As a man of noble type, of strict 
integrity and high sense of honor, he commanded the respect and esteem of all 
who knew him. He had been fortunate in his mercantile ventures and was, 
besides, a successful planter on a large scale, so that before the Revolutionary 
troubles began he had amassed, for those days, a large fortune. Devotedly 
attached to his own family, they in turn regarded him with tender affection, and 
when the times that tried men's souls came, tearing asunder kindred and friends, 

Page Thirty-Five 


they felt no bitterness at his decision nnr »™ : ^ 

blame that he had clunc t„ rt p i ^ yCarS uttered a word of 

««u ne naa clung to the Royal cause. Thev knew that V,. ■ j 

oppressive measures of the British Government anlth^Z **«?*** at the 

We now can see his own* ™**+ i l ^peatea oaths of allegiance. 

Happy m his home, honored and beloved hv ft, n jT. , nade - 

r w, T , 5 Md in pos5e!iion of iXzt^rtt^T^: 

there must have been between all th».a « « . , ' * a stru ggle 

duty, honor and intern tt oZ " ££ " £ Z^TZ ? 
1779 was banished by the Province on pain of ^EL^Ta Ut ? 

uriaiT' te " ; he story of * later years - The — - ^ " * afd ;;:;:; 

Lou" V7! " T tUry "" UnWn t0 US Until di —ered by 2 broth r 
Louis. He died, as has been said, Februarv 22 17«fi j { my Drotiier 

Andrew's Church-™ ^ tt„,u_ * ebruar y »» 1786, and was buried in St. 

Andrew's Church-yard, Holborn. 

death his poor bod, could not ^^^Z'tET"?^ ^ * 

God s acre were removed to parts unknown. P 

It was probably during his stay in England, 1782->86, that the French Gov 

3tT 1 1 1h° h t Im ^ reSt ° rati0n ° f ^ *"* ^ - d es tafe ^ co I 
tion that he would return to France and to the Roman Church «Tn. I 

of course rejected," says my grand-father (his nephew) It was at .V ^ 
that Louis XIV., under the Kindly i nfluence o{ £ j£ * ™ 1^ 
Huguenot exiles under the 5 e conditions, and in 1787 he signed tie "Ed ct of 
Tolerahon," restoring unconditionally the status of the Huguenots. 

T t f7 S , mm ° nS WaS f ° Und the f ° ll0win S record = "November 27 1787 

attr f r ist w r with win annesed ^^ * Th — SXIffi 

attorney for Jas. Walker, Armand John deRossct and Armand John T R 
nephews of the deceased and surviving executors." M, Yo „ ger ^ £%Z 
the Archbishop of Canterbury in the sum of 10,000 Pounds Sterling 

the^nd "t ! eei \ t0 ;f Cate that his «"*» were considerable; he was granted 
the indemnity for which he petitioned the Government for losses sustained became 

Page Thirty-Six 


of his loyalty ; but it is very certain that little of his legacies ever reached his 
nephews, both of whom were minors at the time. Uncle Lewis was, indeed, a 
whole-hearted Englishman ; his memories of his native land were embittered by 
wrong and sorrow, and England had sheltered and honored his grand-father in 
his exile. 

He changed the French spelling of his name to its English form, "Lewis," 
and he even refused introduction to a French officer, serving with the British 
Army during the occupation of Wilmington, who claimed to be related to the 

Through all his life, so full of trial, trouble and temptation, his integrity 
was always his pre-eminent characteristic. Upright and honorable in every 
relation of life; true and just in all his dealings with his fellow-men; loyal and 
grateful to the country whose protection had been given to his persecuted fore- 
fathers, and true to the Faith for which they had suffered, his name has come 
down to us as the synonym of truth and honesty and righteousness of life — while 
those who knew and loved him best revered and treasured his memory till one by 
one they were called to join him in the Eternal Home of God's Saints. There 
may they all rest in Peace, and may Light perpetual shine upon them. 

The following documents and letters relating to the latter years of Councillor 
deRosset's life are almost illegible and fast falling to pieces ; it is thought best 
to preserve them here for the information of future generations : 

Copy .—Memorial of Louis H. deRosset for Indemnity for losses &c.» dated 1783. 


To the Honble. the Commisioners for the examining into the case of the American Sufferers — 

The Memorial of Lewis Henry deRosset late of North Carolina Humbly Sheweth That your 
Memorialist was sworn in a member of his Majesties Honble. Council for said Province in the 
year 175£, and continued in that station until the late Rebellion there put an end to his 
Majesty's Government in North Carolina, and he begs leave to refer to the Certificates of 
their Excellcs. Genl. Tryon and Govr. Martin, the last two Governors of that Province, for 
the manner in which he behaved himself in that station, and in general for his conduct as a 
faithful & loyal subject* 

That your Memorialist from the first took an open and Decided part in favor of the King's 

That in 1779 your memorialist was called upon in consequence of an act passed by the usurped 
Government to renounce his allegiance, and take the Oaths to them, and on refusal of which 
all persons so refusing were banished from the Province, on the pain of death if they returned; 
But your memorialist cheerfully preferring his Duty to God and his Sovereign refused to take 
the Oaths — 

In consequence of a clause in the said act permitting persons so banished to sell or carry off 
their Estates or effects, or leave them subject to confiscation, your memorialist under these 
disastrous circumstances was compelled to dispose of his Estate in such manner as he imagined 
might best tend to His and His Family's support, and accordingly sold a great part of his 

Page Thirty-Seven 


Estate at whatsoever he could get (Which in his distrest situation must have been much under 
the real value) and with the money arising therefrom, he purchased a vessel, that he fitted 
out at a great expense, and loaded with Tobacco, Indigo and Staves, and sailed from Cape 
Fear River the last day of April 1779 with an intent to proceed to England where, from every 
information, the said Vessel and Cargoe must have produced above eight thousand pounds 
sterling—The remainder of his Estate, consisting of some lands, Slaves, Money, Debts, and other 
effects, to the amount of above two thousand Pounds Sterling more he left in the hands, of 
persons he could confide in for the support of his wife, whom he was obliged to leave behind 
nun — 

That your memorialist on his Voyage was on the American coast three times captured, the 
last time by an American Privateer, and carried into New London (Conn.), where he was 
deprived of his vessel and everything he had on board, and sent thus plundered and stripped 
to New York, so that a total loss of that part of his Estate was the consequence of his refusing 
to renounce his Rights and Allegiance as a British subject- 
That after your memorialist arrived in New York, he there waited until GenL Clinton sailed 
to South Carolina, when he went in the same fleet, and soon after the taking of Charleston 
was, through the recommendation of GenL Tryon and Govr. Martin appointed in May 1780 
by Geni Clinton the principal Commissary of prisoners at that place, in which situation he 
remained until the evacuation of Charleston took place, when he had no other resource but to 
come with the Fleet to England.* 

That your memorialist begs leave to inform you, that great part of the interest he left for 
the support of his wife in the hands of confidential Friends in North Carolina, has been 
greatly pillaged and plundered, and that a person in whose hands he left a considerable sum 
of money has so much suffered by persecution, that it is hardly possible he can get repayment 
thereof— Thus that part of his Estate he left in North Carolina he can get but little of— 

Thus situated after a loss altogether of at least ten thousand Pounds Serling, your memorial- 
ist finds himself destitute of all means of support and provision— 

Your memorialist therefore humbly begs leave to submit himself and his case to your 
Honor's Consideration in full confidence that you will be pleased to recommend him for such 
relief and support as he may be entitled to. 

And your memorialist as ever in duty bound shall ever pray.— 

Lewis H, beRosset. 

*An incident relating to this period and illustrating the strict integrity of his uncle is thus 
related by my grand-father* 

"While he was Commissary of Prisoners in Charleston during the Revolutionary War, a man 
—supposed to be a gentleman— called and offered to relieve him of the arduous duties of that 
office, guaranteeing to him the full amount of his receipts therefrom, reserving to himself only 
such perquisites as he could derive from it My uncle turned on him with indignation for sup- 
posing him scoundrel enough to accept such a proposal, saying that however laborious his 
duties might be he would continue to perform them, rather than put it in the power of so 
unprincipled a fellow to cheat his King or the poor prisoners, which was obviously his 

intention.' 1 

Page Thirty-Eight 





Copy.— Memorial of Lewis Henry deRosset to the British Government for half-pay for ser- 
vices during the Revolutionary War, dated July 7th, 1784. 

"To the Right Honbie. Lord Sidney, one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, 

&€. &C. 

The Memorial of Louis Henry deRosset humbly sheweth — 

That your memorialist was sworn a Member of His Majesty's Council for the Province of 
North Carolina in America in 1752 and continued as such whilst His Majesty's Government 
existed in that Province— during which time he discharged some of the most important offices 
there. That your memorialist from the first refusing to join the Americans in their unnatural 
Rebellion was forced to leave the country and his family and with what of his property he 
could bring away sailed from the Cape Fear the last of April 1779 and on his voyage was 
taken by American privateers and carried into the New England Provinces where he was 
deprived of all the effects he had with him, to a considerable amount, and thus plundered was 
sent from New London by Flag of Truce to New York, where he arrived in June 1779 and 
there remained until Sir Henry Clinton sailed from thence to attack Charles Town, where your 
memorialist went in the same Fleet thinking it his duty to give every assistance in his power. 

That your memorialist soon after the taking of Charles Town was by Sir Henry Clinton, 
appointed the Principal Commissary of Prisoners there, in the execution of which office he 
continued until the evacuation of that place, when he was obliged to come to England with the 
Fleet, having by orders from Genl. Leslie sent all the Books and papers relative to his office 
to New York. 

That your Memorialist begs leave to represent that his Pay as Principal Commissary of Pris- 
oners was twenty shillings sterling per day exclusive of rations, &c. and that he was paid at that 
rate to the last day of Dec. 1785 by Genl. Leslie, but from that time he has not received any 
further pay. All the different officers and deputies in your Memorialist's department were paid 
up to the same day, of whom there is at present but one in England, namely Mr. Robert 
Cooke, who was Sir Henry Clinton's appointed Deputy Commissary with a salary of ten 
shillings per clay. 

Lastly, your Memorialist trusts that your Lordships will be pleased to take his ease and his 
unhappy condition into your serious consideration, and that you will from his long services, his 
great and heavy losses, and the seal and integrity with which he discharged the important office 
of Principal Commissary of Prisoners at Charles Town, think him justly entitled to be put on 
half pay, that he may be enabled to support the remainder of his life with some degree of 
comfort, after all his losses, misfortunes and fatigues, 

And your Memorialist in duty bound shall ever pray &e, &c. s 

[ Si $ md ) Lewis H. deRosset. 

July 7, 1784. 

This note is appended to this paper by Mr. deRosset himself: 

"The above copy of my Memorial together with Governor Tryon's letter of Recommendation 
to Lord Sydney I delivered at the Secretary of State's office on the 7th July, 1784, when I was 
desired to take them to Col. Delancey with the following endorsement: 

"Mr. begs Col. Delancey will consider the subject of the enclosed and if proper, 

to insert Mr. deRosset's name in the list of Provincial Officers for half pay," 

In a letter dated in Aug. 1785 Mr. deRosset writes, "I have just obtained the grant of 
half pay." 

Page Thirty-Nine 


Copies of the Certificates of Governors Tryon and Martini 

"I have read the annexed Memorials of Mr. deRosset who was well known to me during the 
six or seven years that I was Governor of the Province of North Carolina, and who I have since 
seen in New York, as mentioned in his Memorial, and I have much pleasure in certifying that 
from the intimate knowledge I have of his principles both in public and private life, and the full 
trial I have had of his Loyalty and attachment to His Majesty's Government, I have no doubt 
but that the several matters and facts set forth in his Memorial are strictly just and true* I 
must further add, in justice to the opinion I entertain of the superior Worth and Merit of Mr. 
deRosset that I believe no man has a more equitable and honorable claim than himself, to the 
Favor and Consideration of the Government as a loyal American sufferer, and that, as such, he 
has my fullest and warmest Recommendation." 

"Given under my hand in Upper Grosvener Street this 26th day of February, 1783." 

(Signed) Wm, Tryon." 

J. A. No, i. j 

The Recommendation of Governor Martin: 

"To All Whom it May Concern; 

"Having perused the Memorial annexed of Mr. Lewis Henry deRosset I have no scruple to 
declare that I consider it a very modest representation of his case, although I cannot take upon 
myself to judge of his loss of property, as I can of his Loyalty and sufferings, I have the 
fullest persuasion, from the general integrity of his character, that his estimate is strictly just 
and honorable; as was all his conduct in publick and private life as far as my knowledge goes, 
and in all the report of the County in which he spent the greater part of his life — Borne 
down by misfortunes brought upon him by a virtuous attachment to His Majesty and the 
British Constitution at an advanced age, he seems to me a gentleman most highly deserving of 
the Favor and Consideration of the Government, and as such he has my sincerest and warmest 
Recommendation, Signed Jo. Martin, 

"New Norfolk St., March 1st, 1783." 

J. A. No. 3. 



London, Aug. 17th, 1785. 
Dear Sir: — I want words to express to you my feelings on the receipt of your letter of the 2nd 
January, informing me of the unexpected death of my dearly beloved wife. You may easier 
conceive than my words can convey the bitter anguish of my soul on this mournful information; 
the more unexpected the more poignant I felt the force of the fatal stroke that deprived me of 
the best of wives whose tender affection I had experienced in every circumstance of life. To 
say she was the faithful Friend, the chaste Wife, the cheerful Companion, and that her honest 
breast was an enemy to deceit, would not do justice to her great Merit; but possessed of these 
and of all other virtues which I knew from long experience she possessed in an eminent degree, 
had so endeared her to me that I fully enjoyed every conjugal Felicity during the thirty 
years I had the happiness of being with her. When I was forced to leave her the separation 
was cruel and the unhappy days that I have passed since that time a continued scene of trouble 
and confusion; nor could I have a prospect of happiness until we could have met together 
again in peace and quietness. It was for this purpose that I applied to obtain half-pay in 
order to have enabled me to support her with some degree of decency, though not with that 

Page Forty 


affluence I could have wished for. But I knew that with her prudent management we could 
have gone through life here in peace and content. I had just obtained the grant of half-pay 
and only waited for an opportunity to take advantage of the summer season, when she might 
naturally expect a pleasant and speedy passage, to embark to England, when your letters by 
the "Castor* came to hand the 10th of April, which at once put an end to all my pleasing 
expectations of returning happiness, nothing now but an horrid gloomy prospect succeeds to 
my nattering and delusive hopes. Thus are the wretched mortals in this life ever subject to 
disappointments. It is my duty as a Christian to submit to the Divine dispensations— the 
draught is bitter and I must swallow it, but I cannot say I do it with the Resignation I ought. 
No! my dear, my best Friend, my faithful Companion is gone, and I shall ever whilst I have 
being lament my irreparable loss,— neither time nor place can remove her dear Image from 
my mind; there she is perpetually present and the only pleasure I enjoy is to think of her 
pertpetually. I have no doubt that through the Merits and Mediation of our Blessed Savior, 
she is received into the Mansions of Eternal Felicity, and I pray to God when He thinks proper 
to remove me from this transitory life, I may there with her enjoy eternal Happiness for ever 
and ever. Amen. 

I lament the affliction your Mother must feel in the loss of her valuable Daughter, and would 
gladly contribute everything in my power towards alleviating her grief. Pray remember to 
inform her that I bear her the most cordial respect and shall always venerate her as the Mother 
of my dearest Wife. And be pleased to assure Mrs, Quince that I shall ever retain the 
affection I always had for my Wife's nearest relatives* I sincerely thank you both for the 
attentions paid to your deceased Sister and I am much obliged to you for your care in having 
her buried with Proper Decency,— for no cost ought to have been spared to shew the Esteem 
and just Regard due to her great Merit. I should be glad, if possible, to have my bones laid 
with hers when I die. 

On the 14th last month I received your favors per Mr. M'Guire. I should desire that what 
effects my dear Wife left, may be disposed of in the following manner: Her clothes and wear- 
ing apparel Mrs. Quince and her Mother will dispose of as they may judge proper— if they are 
worth their keeping, it will give me great satisfaction. I should be glad if three of the 
Rings:— I mean the Wedding Ring, the Mourning Ring for my Father, and an old French 
Diamond Ring given me by my God- father who was a relative, may be sent to me by the first 
opportunity. The other Rings, Buckles and all other Trinkets I hope your good sister Mrs. 
Quince will do me the favor to accept of. All the plate, a small trunk of which I left with 
Mr. Roger Smith when I left Charles Town to send to my Wife, I hope Mrs. Quince will take 
care of for me until I give further directions. There are six large Family pictures which want 
fitting up and repairing; I shall be glad to have them sent over here when I can tell what to do 
with them. In the meantime I hope Mrs. Quince will take care of them for me. If there is any 
of the household furniture Mrs, Quince may choose, I desire of her to accept of them — the 
rest dispose of as you judge proper. Of the Printed Books, you will be pleased to accept of 
such as you may choose and the rest do as you please with. I must beg of you to search 
among my papers for an old French Mem, Book of my Father's, that did belong to my 
Grand-father. In it are several of his memoranda— my Father's marriage to my Mother and 
the birth of all their children. It is a narrow paper book, covered with blue or brown paper. 
I thought I bad left it with your Sister and had desired her to send it to me, but she could not 
then find it. Pray make a diligent search for it, and forward it to me, as it may be of some 
service to me, and can be of no consequence to any body else. 

Ail my Account books and all my papers of every kind be pleased to have properly secured 
until I give further directions. 

Page Forty-One 


w!f^°h Id b t W l f 0b "f d t0 Mr " QUin< " e if She W ° uld be P leased to s -<> ™ some of my 

ess eu ni?r ; r — *• Rings made - » — - -— -» ~ 

To Mr. Ja«. Walker. L ° NDOX ' ° ct - 36 ' 1785 ' 

,.,-uT SSr .r AS * thInk a SafC °PP° rtunit y ^ers for N. Carolina, I embrace it, as I hone Ihis 
will from thence reach yon in safety and serves to enclose a copy of my letter of An/ im 

Tthe aforesaid lette Sf^ "^ ^ dlMrtto » In the SeVeral mattos ^^ 
JlSSS l Urt iT that y ° U WU1 Send me an inVentor y of *e several things my 

them\ s b I l0 h ;: d Itted "" ^'^ ' ^ ^ ^ "" * "° — " "* «*"£ - 

th!t" f7 a 7 U " t ,; vhkl1 J toTC desi "« J™ ■» forward to me, pray be as particular as possible 
eft in vT , e , y T qUainted ° f eVerythi,,g ln *™ hands ' »■ «t of the moneys I 

e ei irzi ; a ; r s s %%?, ir 9 wa ; a , bove r pm,nds - y °" ^ ^ *• « JS^i 

received from Mrs. Heron afterwards for a Lot I sold her before I came awav but I nPWr £ J 
any account of the Corn Pea<;p Rir.» p™„:.,:„ t, , , dw aj, out l never had 

di * u v ' ^ Prov 'S">ns, Tools and many other thinss I left on «,. 

Plantation. You will therefor* in»i l>r i» *k , v T uuujp, i lert on the 

iuu win tnereiore include them, as also, Kesrro hire R P f n „> iu_ ^ ■ . , 

^xiien; jourseir, betore that time especially the whole of thr h\^ «* m a 

i ci fe ni i-ounos,, jour money. She said she had only left for her own use 
, and this was confirmed to me by Mr. Quince himself, but he said that voT vnnt 
self had hired some of the Negroes and was to pay their hire and as to thol Z \ J ?? I 
III* hC *"* W for them when he turned as ?£» * .*£?£ ^ 

J^^^^^^^^TL^ST. -J* «£ I -eve the dis- 

s »-r arid ^5K^? 

JJg JJ. see £ he has dis^of t'SSS ml^e^ ^1^ 

Soon after I received your letter I went fn th« Pif^ i- rt ^ i 

you mention I saw Mr K ■ I \ u Y make enqmr ^ of the &ever ^ matters 

you mention. I saw Mr, Kensington at his own house and he informal m^ +K Q + *u 
of the Car™ nf +k^ "r-„.+ . n jj mrormea me that the proceeds 

Of the Cargo of the Castor' did not net but between three and four hundred Pound, 

r , r was it ^rj^t^T^Jt"S Sri 

th had answered was the Reeds ( ? ) so that I ima g i„e the best way JLld be'to pi ^ 

very low here, J^^^S^^^^J^1£ 2? ^ ^ " 

recovering their debts. If there w as a S£25f5jKj SSLtmVlT. °i 

the American States, perhaps Credit in some measure mights res tired But if^ »"f 
believe it would be with great caution, for many traders from here Ze bf 1 T " P ° 
connections been ruined. e hd ' e bv the,r American 

Page Forty -Two 



Mr. Kensingston also told me that the Savannah, which was lately arrived, was unloading 
and that he had directions from both Mr. John Quince and Mr. Grey to put her up to sale —so 

that you will see her no more. 

He also informed me that the Guinea Scheme was at an end; that a vessel intended for that 
trade and to have been sent to your house was ordered to be sold, and nothing more would he 
done in the matter. 

As Mr. Eyres is dead I have not had an opportunity of knowing what agreement he had 
made with Mr. Quince; all that I could find out was that he was to have been concerned in it. 
I think you can have no expectation of any Guinea-men and as I suppose you will receive 
letters from Messrs. Kensington & Cunningham you will have full information on ail matters. 

I should be glad to have a copy of Mrs. deRossefs will;* Mr. Bridgen cannot find the one 

*The widow of his father, Dr. A. J. deRosset. 
you sent him. I cannot tell where to find a residence in my distracted condition. Had it 
pleased the Almighty to have prolonged the life of by Dear, my faithful Wife, the darling of 
my Soul, I could have been perfectly content and happy M'ith her in a Cottage, but without her 
a palace would have no charms. God knows best what will become of me! All I can say at 
present is that I shall stay about this City until I can have a hearing before the Commissioners 
for Compensation for my Losses. Therefore continue to address your letters to me to the care 
of Messrs. Bridgen & Waller, in Lovell Court, Pater Noster Row— and I pray let me hear 
from you as often and as fully as you can. 

Remember me with the firmest affection to your Mama, to your good Sister Quince, your 
Wife, your Son and all your connections. I congratulate you on the birth of your daughter 
and I hope she will be a worthy imitator of the virtues of ber dear Aunt. 

Adieu for the present, and be assured that I shall always retain the warmest regard for all 
my Wife's relations and that I am with sincere esteem Dr. Sir, 

Yours &c, Lewis H. deRosset. 

P. S. Gov. Martin desired me some days ago to forward a Mem. for one Willett who lives 
about Lockwood's Folly relative to an orphan Niece of his whose Father died at New York 
and the Gov, took care of her. I enclose the mem. 

Pray oblige me so far as to have it safely delivered to Mr. Willett that he may give direc- 
tions to his Niece. 

As I suppose Mr. Mallett has long since paid his debt and that half the balance due from 
me to Mr. Wiehely's Estate has been paid to Miss Wichely according to my desire. If she 
is yet in your State and will take out proper letters of administration, be pleased to pay her 
the remainder of the balance due from me to her Father's Estate and take from her a full 
and sufficient discharge and deliver to her all the Books, Accounts, Patents, Deeds, &c, 
belonging to the Estate. They were always kept by themselves and therefore give no trouble. 
Let her be paid to her satisfaction and an end put to this miserable business. 

A number of years ago I renewed a power of attorney from Mr. Henry Lowther of Hurdle- 
ston near Rells'm the County of Meath, Ireland, by virtue of which I administered on the 
Estate of Samuel and Joseph Woodward and from a mem. I made when I left North Caro- 
line, there is a balance due from me of one hundred and seventy-seven Pounds ten Shillings 
and one Farthing old Proclamation money, the exchange not above 80 per cent, on Sterling. 
I have not heard for some years past from Mr. Lowther, tho confusion of the times may 
have prevented him from writing, or perhaps he may be dead. In his last letter to me he had 
left it to myself to remit as I thought proper but being afraid if any considerable loss should 
attend a remittance I might be blamed, I intended to have paid him here if I had got safe, but 
losing everything it became impossible. As perhaps some letters from him (in case he is dead, 
from his Representatives) may have come to your hands pray remit the amount of that sum 

Page Forty-Three 


according to any directions they may have given, and in case no directions have got to your hands, 
then write to Mr. Lowther and let him know you are ready to ship the balance due to him agree- 
ably to his orders. The account is in my old largest account book. I must not forget to inform 
you that 1 left an old mahogany Desk belonging to the Woodward Estate, not included in the 
above balance, let it be appraised or sold and the amount added to the balance and remitted with 
it. I beg your particular attention to these matters, and let not my Character and Credit Suffer 
through neglect, 

I cannot tell what to say about the moneys that may be in your hands, but I think it will 
be best, until the opportunity may offer of remitting, (which I hope you will be able to do 
soon) that it be put out at interest on good security that I may be sure of getting it when I 
want it— and pray send me by first opportunity a full and perfect statement of the amount 
that I may know what I have to depend on. I must insist on Mr. Jenkes paying the 
Sterling money according to his note in your hands, together with interest from the time it was 
due. He may send me a Bill of Exchange on England for such a trifling sum. 

As to my legacy from Mrs. deRosset's Estate as Mr. Bridgen promised to pay it here when 
he could get remittances from Carolina, all 1 beg of you on this subject is to press Mr. Roger 
Smith to remit without loss of time. This you can certainly do as your name is mentioned in 
the Bond and are the only qualified executor of Mrs. deRosset's will. I greatly counted on his 
complying with his agreement, but by no means stop any money of the Estate on my account 
as my Attorney, nor as such give any discharge for my Legacy. 

What Mr. London's motives can be for not having delivered you Mr. Smith's bond, as I 
expected he would have done long ago, I am an entire stranger to, — it is a mystery I cannot 
pretend to account for. Mr. Bridgen expresses great dissatisfaction at not having received 
answers to several letters he wrote you. He has lately had a letter from Mr. Atwood of New 
York, informing him that by your desire he sent a Power of Attorney to Mr. M'Lain to recover 
a Legacy from Mrs. deRosset's Estate, at which he is greatly surprised, and I am afraid 
entertains feelings no way to your advantage. Pray then write him fully and send a state- 
ment of your accounts. You will also not forget what debts due to me you have collected, 
especially Capt. Fishers, which must amount to at least Five Hundred Pounds Sterling; and 
the amount of Mr, Mallett's note, which Mr. Quince told me you had received. In short let 
the account be particular and full, and the balance due me to the time of making out the 
account be clearly ascertained, that I may know how to make my will by disposing of my 
property in such manner as I may think just — for I want to consider my Wife's relations as 
well as my own. 

My situation continues the same as it was when I last wrote you. My great, my irreparable 
Loss oppresses my Spirit, and my dearly beloved Wife's image ever present to my mind, 
banishes every other idea from me. Let me hear from you as often as convenient, and don't 
forget to send by different conveyances. I shall only add that I have had no letter from home 
since that by Mr. McGuire, though several vessels from North and South Carolina have 

My best respects wait on your Mama and your good Sister. I wish I could hear from them- 
selves. My love to your family and to all your relatives, and be pleased to remember me to all 
my enquiring friends, if I have any with you; for as I have had no letters from anv I 
almost think they have forgot one who has always respected many worthy characters that he 
had the pleasure of being acquainted with. 

Be assured that 1 am with truth dear Sir Your very affectionate and humble servant, 

Lewis H. deRgsset. 

Page Forty-Four 



Dec. 27th, 1726-Dec, 25th, 1767. 

"The Patriot Mayor." 

Moses John, the younger of the two sons of Dr. Armand I J deRosset and 
"the lady of Ucetia » was horn in London, December 87, 17*6 (St John s Day 
He was a lad not ten years old when his father emigrated to North Carolina, but 
it was from him that sprang the now numerous family of his name. 

Of the childhood of Dr. Moses John little is recorded. **"****« * 
sister, Mrs. duBois, in 1741, followed by his mother's death in 1746, leit him to 
if Other's sole care. It would interest us to know whether he was educated 
at home under the paternal eye and tuition, or had been sent to England as was 
at nome ui „,.... X¥ flT1v rate his able and accomplished father 

the custom in Colonial times. At any rate, tns aoic an ? 

must have taken care that opportunities for study and manly development should 
Z be lacking. Tradition tells us that his democratic spmt was early mani- 
fested and that he often shocked his father's aristocrat prejudices. One of 
Hs youthful escapades, though not in itself vicious, led to serious consequences 
for himself He had become enamored of a certain Miss B , a very 

iSr but of social standing far beneath that of the deRosset, Such 
a mesalliance was a terrible calamity in the minds of anstocrafcc Colonists, and 
to avert it his father deemed it necessary to send the youngster away from the 
scene of temptation. So he was put on a ship as supercargo and sent on a 
W sea voyage, to cool his ardor and repent at leisure for his md.cretim. 
Poo" flw! he was cruelly punished, for the ship was captured by a Spanish 
or Algerian privateer, and for two years he was not heard from. Of Ins 
mp tLment P and sufferings nothing is now known but, whether by release or 
escape he finally appeared in Boston, stripped of all has possessions Theie he 
w 7£ kindly r!Led by Mr. Thomas Campbell brother of tosj a*«£ 
friend, Mr. William Campbell, of Wilmington, and being furmshed with fund,, 
l" hing and all things needful, he proceeded on his way home. Thorough y 
nred of his boyish "affaire du cceur," he found his lady-love already married to 
one more suitable to her own station. His father's heart and home were ready 

Page Forty-Five * 


to welcome the prodigal son, who soon devoted his energies to the study of medi- 
cine, and became an exemplary citizen and successful practitioner. 

His first word of public service for the Colony was on January 7, 175*. 
when he was commissioned Captain in the North Carolina Regiment commanded 
by Col. James Innes and Lieut.-Col. Caleb Grainger, which was sent to aid Vir- 
ginia against the French and Indians. (Col. Records, Vol. V., Pref . Notes, and 

Vol. XI., p. 235.) , ..,-•+ „,„„ 

These were the first troops raised by any Colony for serv.ce outside of its own 
borders A fact to be remembered among many others creditable to North 
Carolina, and yet persistently ignored by United States historians. This was 
more than a year before the arrival and defeat of Gen. Braddock, m 17o5 

Dr. deRosset was for many years a County Commissioner, and member of the 
Board of Aldermen of Wilmington. The records tell that he headed the list of 
petitioners for the improvement of public roads in New Hanover County. 

Of the public spirit of Dr. deRosset and the hold he had upon the confidence 
and esteem of his fellow-citizens, wc have ample proof in his being called to fill 
the important and honorable position of Mayor of the town at a serious en*, in 
its history-January, 1766. The Board of Aldermen from whom Dr^ M. J. 
deRosset was elected Mayor was composed of John Sampson (then Mayor), 
Marmaduke Jones (Recorder), Wm. Dry, Cornelius Harnett, John Lyon, Fred- 
erick Gregg, Caleb Grainger, Daniel Dunbibbin, Arthur Mabson Moses John 
deRosset, John duBois and Samuel Green-the most eminent men of tins section. 

( See City Records.) „ , 

The Stamp Act troubles were rousing the inhabitants on the Cape Fear to 
a sense of coming danger; the landing of the stamps at Brunswick in November 
1765, had been successfully resisted by the prompt and galant action of the 
Iple of New Hanover and Brunswick Counties under the lead of Col. John Ashe 
and Col. Hugh Waddell. Surely it was a remarkable tribute to a man of a 
"fcssL so peaceable and apart from political strife that he should have been 
call do an office demanding not only the exercise of ordinary virtues, but 
qualities of intellectual and administrative ability. The history o ft a £«- 
tills us that the Doctor was faithful to his trust, and justified the choice of those 

who had so honored him. .. 

And here I would emphasize the fact so grossly overlooked by our h,„ 

Wns, viz: that it was in the Cape Fear Colony, Province rfNMOnta 

hat the first open, armed resistance was made by tke people to the hated ^S amp 

lit It was on February ,8th, 1766, eight years before *£*«-£ ^ 

ton Tea Party" of disguised men in the darkness of night— in 1774. 1 ne 

Page Forty-Slv 

Ruins of St. Philip's Church 
Old Brunswick on the Cape Fear 


stamps were not landed, and the Mayor of Wilmington did his part in preventing 
supplies to be carried to the British ships ; while his military friends and com- 
patriots did their duty of resistance to the authority of the Royal Governor 
Tryon. (When will our Southland awake from her lethargy and proclaim to 
her children of to-day the noble deeds of their heroic forefathers?)* 

McRec, in his Memoirs of Dr. A. J. deRosset, says : "During all this commo- 
tion the Mayor sympathized deeply with the people in what he deemed their 
patriotic opposition to tyranny. He stimulated the timid, fixed the wavering and 
supported the bold." In a letter of the Town Council, to Tryon, he (the Mayor) 
disclaims any intention of disrespect to the King or his officers, and concludes 
thus : "If oppressed by the late Act, some commotion of the country seemed to 
threaten a departure from moderation, the Governor he hoped would not impute 
those transactions to any motive other than a conviction on the part of the people, 
that moderation ceases to be a virtue when the liberty of the British subject is in 

Adds McRee: "Was not that well and nobly said? Was it not worthy of 
Hampden or Cobham ? At what point in America was the Stamp Act more fear- 
lessly and gallantly opposed?" Truly we may be proud of our grand-sire's 

part in it. 

In 1759, being then thirty-two years of age, Dr. deRosset married Mary Ivy 
(the first Mrs. deRosset of English parentage). She and her sister Ann (who 
became the wife of James Moore, a distinguished General in the Revolutionary 
war), were daughters of a Scotch gentleman residing in Jamaica, W. I.— "a man 
of note in the plantations." Mr. Ivy died there, and his widow married Mr. 
Marmaduke Jones, "an eminent councillor at law," and "an English gentleman 
of the old school, remarkable for personal neatness and precision of manner, 
character and conduct." With his family, Mr. Jones migrated to North Caro- 
lina about the middle of the eighteenth century, and became for a while a partner 
in a mercantile house in Wilmington ; but soon resumed the practice of law, and 
was so eminent in the profession that he was one of the first five Judges of the 
Supreme Court appointed by the Council. He was also Attorney General of the 
Province, and in 1771 was appointed King's Councillor, but resigned it before 

the War of the Revolution. 

In one of Governor Tryon's dispatches to the Government, in 1765, he speaks 
thus of Mr. Jones : "About forty years of age ; a resident of the Province for a 

*For the full history of this patriotic incident see Waddell's "Colonial Officer and His 
Times," pp. T3-139, and also the Colonial Records of North Carolina. 

Page Forty-Seven 


long time, a man of culture and capacity. He was of Knightly race in England 
(that of Sir Mannuduke Wyirl), was held in high regard as a citizen and a 
gentleman, and died much respected and lamented." 

The Misses Ivy, being of gentle birth and high social rank, and, according to 
the standard of the times, heiresses in their own right, did not lack for suitors, 
and Dr. deRosset's marriage with the elder of the sisters met with the hearty 
approval of both families. She made him an admirable wife, took great interest 
in his professional work and study, and often, when necessity arose, rendered 
him valuable assistance. When his death, In 1767, left the community ill supplied 
with competent medical skill and experience, she used her knowledge for the benefit 
of all who asked its help. Her gratuitous practice and successful treatment of 
diseases peculiar to the climate made her a blessing to the patients, both poor and 
rich, who came to her for help, and won from them many touching tokens of 
gratitude. Vaccination was then unknown, but she had learned inoculation from 
her husband, and put it to frequent use. It was doubtless from the lancet of that 
"venerated Mother" (as he always called her), that her boy — the "dear old 
Doctor" of the next century — received the virus that rendered him impervious to 
the dreaded scourge he had so frequently to deal with in his long practice. The 
mother's skill in surgery was also not to be despised, for on one occasion when this 
same dear boy had broken his collar-bone, it was her ready help that repaired 

the injury. 

Dr. deRosset built and resided in the dwelling still standing on the N. E. corner 
of Market and Second streets. Here his children were bom, of whom two survived 
—his daughter, Magdalene Mary, born February 2nd, 1762, and our dearly 
beloved grandfather, Armand John (2), born November 17, 1767.* 

It will be remembered that Dr. deRosset and his elder brother, Lewis H., were 
not of the same mind politically. The latter was still a member of the King's 
Council, while the patriot brother was using all his energies for the better inter- 
ests of the Colonies. 

But his useful and beneficent career was not to last till their Independence 
was accomplished. On Christmas Day, 1767, when his infant son was but six 
weeks old, he was called from this troublesome world to the rest of Paradise, and 
was buried on the anniversary of his birth (just forty-one years before), in the 
family vault in St. James 5 Church-yard. 

The war clouds were fast gathering and the lonely widow with her two 
orphaned children, separated by the broad gulf of political antagonism from her 
only male protector, felt that it would be wise for her and them to accept an offer 
of marriage from Mr. Adam Boyd, and in May, 1774, she became his wife. He 

Page Forty-Eight 


m U» the =*or of «. C» P; F~ ^^pl^In^ror^ 
IcLarly man of Scottish de»cen and a native ^ ^ t t 

Boyd and Jane Craighead, his wfe. He £0 ^ ConUnen ul Army, 

an ordained Minister-hut patriotism led I Inn J ^ WM a feo 

fir, 7m an Ensign, then Lieutentant and fcmUy Correspon dence, with 

„: of the Conncil of Safety, and^t, 0» ^ ^ ^ a fcon 

Harnett and other patriots. In October , g^ary, nod later i* 

S the North Carolina ^^^oUa „"d Vpiscopa. ordination at the hand, 
first Brigade Chaplain. In 1788 he on omcialed at St James 

of Bishop Seabury, of Connectecut, and for a £» ^ wM , t ble 

£j WUmington, hnt not - ,. -^ * ^ his ^^ing about from 

-»- fron, "*~ -*£ ^* £ Lily died in Natehe*. M~. - W* 
p ,.ce to place vamly seeking 

in great poverty. „„ Court House, Book I., PP- n 8 -™* * 

fo the Records of New Hanover Court H ^ a , property at the 

ante-nuptinl contract and inventor, of M~ *£ emuMr ated are seventeen 

i« ofV second marriage Among * ^ art ^^ fc ^ 

domestic servants, and a quant,, y o ^™™ Mp or comfort to ft. ifam ly. 

After all, Mr. Boyd seems to have been Bu smtime »ts of heartfelt 

Cgh his letters, of which several *ffl «^« step . chM ren. In their eariy 
Section for "Maggie and John, as he c. e ; tfi^, cspecmlly 

,!ofh he had heen a valuable assistant ft his w.f „ M , 

in Mathematics and the Classics , forth g and ^ 

Bovd a debt of gratitude, »° d ™^ Bo L .„ d her children were often shel- 
Lring the Revolutionary War, Mrs. Bo yd ^ ^ h 

By a singular coineidenee, General , M ^^g the Revolution 

M ' re, of the Supreme Court Bench ^ed m £». g„ ^ Maurfcc „ „«, 

" the same day and ^°J™^J**^ "*"• J "* ^ by 
wh „ with hie brothers, "King Roger Fear _ a bandoned in 1669 by 

£d the old CoW°'/ o — ::,tf Shadoe, Genera, Moore, wife, 
Ann iC—'her husband but a J-J^ „ ould fi y fro m place to 

The L« were full of privation an d peril. nm ^ f danger 

and alarin* ^ u » 

Page Forty-Nine 


the cruel Colonel Craig, Mrs. Boyd was in a constant state of alarm ; but for- 
tunately, the slaves then, as during the Civil War, nearly one hundred years 
later, were true and faithful to their owners, and were a great source of help 

and comfort. 

One horrible recollection that remained with grand-pa as long as he lived, was 
the sight of Cornelius Harnett (the idolized patriot of the Cape Fear), "brought 
through the town, thrown across a horse like a sack of meal," by a squad of 
Craig's marauders. Mr. Harnett had been ill at a friend's house in Onslow 
County when he was captured. Driven before them, he had fallen in his tracks 
from exhaustion and, in an unconscious state, was thus inhumanly treated. He 
was thrown into prison and died in captivity before the Independence he had so 
loyally worked for was accomplished. 

With patriotism stimulated by such scenes, we are not surprised to hear of 
the lad, not yet fourteen, shouldering a musket and participating with the 
patriots in a gallant fight at "The Oaks," near Wilmington. Seventy years 
later, the venerable Doctor related the incident to Mr. Lossing, who, in his "Field 
Book of the Revolution," tells the story, regretting that he could not give it in 
full, and adding, "the local historian should not fail to record it ;" but this has 

never been done. 

Magdalene Mary, only daughter of Dr. Moses John deRosset (2) and Mary 
Ivy, b. February % 1762, m. about 1780, Mr. Henry Toomer* (his third wife), 

and d. in 1799. 

Soon after the marriage of her daughter Mrs. Boyd gave up her own home 
and spent the remainder of her life enjoying the loving care and devoted minis- 
trations of the Toomer household. Mr. Boyd being continually absent, and the 
college life of young Armand necessitating his absence, what would she have 
done without their tender solicitude? She became totally blind long before her 
death, which occurred in 1798. When the news of his wife's death reached Mr. 

*The Toomers were a Welsh family of whom Joshua, with a young son, Henry, came to 
Charlestown, S. C, in 1693. Henry m. Miss Raven and left two sons, Caleb and Joshua. The 
latter m. Mary Bonneau, and had three sons (1) Anthony, (2) Henry, and (3) Joshua, and 
one daughter, Elizabeth, who married John Fullerton. Anthony was a prominent officer fa the 
War of the Revolution, and the ancestor of the Charleston Toomers. 

Joshua, after the death of his wife, Mary Bonnean, moved with his son, Henry, to Wilming- 
ton Henry's first wife was the mother of Anthony B. Toomer, for many years Clerk of the 
New Hanover Court. His second wife, Mary Grainger, (?) had one daughter, Mary J., who 
m James H. Walker; and his third wife, Magdalene Mary deRosset, had issue: (1) Eliza 
(Mrs, Henry T. Yonng), (2) Anthony, (3) Hon. John DeR., 1784-1856, (4) Lewis D., (5) 
Mary Fullerton (successively Mrs. John B. Lord, Mrs. Wm. Freeman and Mrs. TreadweU), 

Page Fifty 


Boyd, he coaled Ita* by w^ng I*, of —— - - ^ ~ 
J£i in style « U. b. worthy of predion. 

Tfctf Epitaph. 

This stone is consecrated 
to the noble purpose of recording 
Female Merit 
for many years was known to the world 
by the names 
She was singularly attentive and useful 
to the children of affliction. 
In early life she was taught, 
by an excellent mother, 
the principles of the Christian religion. 
By these principles 
she governed her conversation and manners: 
but in the latter part of her life, 

her patience and her faith 
had a severe exercise appointed them. 
She was entirely deprived of that great blessing, 

the power of seeing, 
and was crippled by a stroke of the 

In this afflicted and helpless condition, 
she experienced the most faithful attentions 
of her children and friends. 
But the dutiful and affectionate assiduity 
of an only daughter, 
was such that it admits 
neither Eulogy nor Parallel. 
Heaven pitying her affliction 
sent His messenger 
called her home. 

(Perhaps it would look belter this way) 


x Sent His Messenger x 

% and called her * 

x Home. x 

x x x x s x 

I like the first better than 
I did before I wrote the last. 

Blindness and pain no longer bring distress: 
To light eternal raised in realms of J oy, 

His praise, who purchased such ecstatic bliss, 
Her tongue in transports ever shall employ. 

Page Fifty-One 


Midst pleasures ever new, which ever flow, 

Thro' endless ages that ne'er cease to roll, 
Burning with Heavenly love, she'll ever glow, 

And bliss unceasing still transport her soul. 

The epitaph was never inscribed in stone as Mr. Boyd wished for. Mary Ivy, 
in 1798, was laid to rest in the deRosset vault in St. James' Church-yard. Her 
remains, with those of the husband of her youth, and all other occupants of that 

,«ult, were carefully removed to the family lot in Oakdale Cemetery. ^ 

A mural tablet has been placed on the north wall of historic old St. James 
Church, in memory of deceased members of the deRosset family. It is of heavy 
bronze, handsomely designed and of beautiful workmanship. In the centre is the 
family crest and motto, "In Domino Confido." Above, encircled by the wreath 
of palm branches, which surround^the whole, is engraved, "The Souls of the 
Righteous are in the Hands of God." 
Above the crest is written: 
"In Blessed Memory of four generations of the deRosset family. Founders, 

Wardens, Vestrymen of St. James' Church." 

Below the crest: 

Armand John deRosset, M. D., 1695*-1760. 

Louis Henry deRossett, 1722*-1786. 

Moses John deRosset, M. D., 1726 -1767. 

Armand John deRosset, M. D., 1767 -1859. 

Armand John deRosset, M. D., 1807 -1897. 

Below, underneath in the palm branches : 

"Their Name shall be had in Everlasting Remembrance. 

To these may be added the name of Col. William Lord deRosset who in h» 
generation ha/filled many of the same offices. After his *^£^ 
1897, he was elected to succeed him as Treasurer of the Dmcese of East Carohna, 
which position he ^Ws ^ ^ ^ 

JLT^ iS^a^ge of D, A. J. deRosset (*) tc , Cath- 
e^ FuU Xn, in 1799, begins a new era in the family history. I feel tha my 
kbor of love would be incomplete if I do not tell the story, however bneny, of the 
flter and L who followed those ancient worthies, and whose hves come w.thm 
my own personal recollection. 

Page Fifty-Two 

The DeRosset Memorial Tablet 
In St. James Church 


Personal Recollections 

* is it not something in every day life to know that one's 
parents, sisters and brothers are high minded, strong and true? 
Surely in such a thought there is incentive to a worthier lire* 
and how is that motive strengthened hy the knowledge tkat one 
can reach back through past generations and find in all the same 
noble characteristics," 

Armand John DeRosset, M.D., II 



b. November 17, 1767— d- April 1, 1859. 

"Is it not something in every day life to know that one's parents, sisters and brothers are 
high minded, strong and true? Surely in such a thought there is incentive to a worthier life, 
and how is that motive strengthened by the knowledge that one can reach back through past 
generations and find in all the same noble characteristics/* 

In his autobiographical sketch, my grandfather writes: 

"Though we are descended from so-called noble blood, I do not claim for 
myself or for my children any consideration beyond that which may be due to 
our own qualities of mind and heart, and to the exercise of such virtues as adorn 
the worthy citizen and the Christian gentleman." 

In the daily struggle for existence in this democratic country, the old 
aristocratic spirit and pride may have been in a measure lost, but the "virtues 
of the worthy citizen and the Christian gentleman" we do claim to have been 
conspicuously exhibited in later generations. Let us not boast the titles of our 
ancestors ; they were their possessions, not ours. And, as Ruskin says, "Should 
we not think it better to be nobly remembered than to be nobly born?" 

Our "Roses sprang and budded fair" in this new soil. Let us see to it that 
they gather fresh grace and sweetness with every generation. 

Thus far I have gathered up only the records and traditions of long past 
years. Now, having reached the period and actors of an age within my own 
recollection, I enter upon familiar scenes as upon holy ground, so sacredly do I 
treasure every remembrance of those men and women I have seen and known, 
whose holy, useful lives have added fresh lustre to their ancestral name, and 
left in my own heart the tenderest emotions of reverent love. Ah ! they 

"Were men who did not stoop nor lie in wait 
For wealth, or honors, or for worldly state. 
Their powers shed round them in the daily strife, 
And mild concerns of ordinary life." 
The gracious influence of upright men 
Who worked for good, and kept their conscience clean. 

It is a noticeable fact that for several generations the deRosset name was 
transmitted by a single descendant. There have been sisters who have died 
unmarried, or married and lived under other names ; but when there have been 

Page Fifiy~Nim 


two brothers, one has invariably died without issue. Each father grieved at the 
long delayed fulfillment of the pledge of his Huguenot ancestor, whose mar- 
riage was "ordained (not only) for the glory of God (but), for the increase of 
the human race." But this generation sees the hope realized, for six of my 
father's seven sons have sons of their own, who may carry on the name to 

Another fact worthy of remark is that for 186 years there has been an 
unbroken succession of physicians in the family, beginning with the graduate 
of Basle, Switzerland. 

Dr. Armand J. deRosset I., 1695*-1760. 

Dr. Moses John deRosset I., 1726-1767. 

Dr. Armand John deRosset II., 1767-1859. 

Dr. Moses John deRosset II., 1797-1826. 

Dr. Armand John deRosset III., 1807-1897. 

Dr. Moses John deRosset III., 1838-1881. 

This is a professional record without parallel, and its suspension in the 
present generation is much to be regretted. For 162 years, Wilmington had 
among its citizens a Dr. deRosset, if we except the period of the minority of Dr. 
Armand John deRosset II. 

The memoirs of Dr. A. J. deRosset II. were written shortly after his death, 
in 1859, by Mr. Griffith J. McRec, and leave little for me to add concerning him 
as a citizen and professional man. But my "Annals" will be far from complete 
if I do not gather up some reminiscences of his home life, and of the household 
who all loved and venerated him to an unusual degree. 

He was the first male of his name born on this side of the Atlantic. His 
was a long life, covering nearly a century as eventful as the world has ever 
known, a century of marvellous inventions and discoveries, of progress and 
development. Born while yet our country was an oppressed colony of Great 
Britain, he lived to see the Independence of these Sovereign States, won by 
the heroism of their patriot sons— he saw the republic extend its borders by 
purchase, annexation and conquest, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the 
frozen regions of the North to the great Southern Gulf— and passed away 

*As an instance of remarkable longevity of life it may be noted that the lives of Dr. 
deRossett II. and his son, Dr. A. J. deRosset, Jr., covered a period of 130 years-from 
November, 1767, to December, 1897. And adding that of Dr. M. J. deRosset, born in 1726, 
the three successive lives lasted 171 years. At one time there were five members of the 
household whose lives aggregated 407 years. 

Page Si 


just before the thunders of the War Between the States were to shake its 
foundations and threaten its dissolution. 

But his life entered into no strife nor turmoil. Tranquil and peaceful, 
'neath the shade of his own roof-tree, he pursued his beneficent career, winning 
the loving reverence of hosts of patients who knew him as "the dear old doctor," 
and the highest esteem and regard of the community where his honorable life 
of nearly ninety-two years was spent. 

The death of Dr. M. J. deRosset I. left his son six weeks old, with a sister 
five years his senior, to the loving care of a young mother (Mary Ivy), a 
woman of culture, of strong intellect and of great piety and worth. 

Their father's only brother (Lewis H. deRosset), of whom we have already 
heard, was a King's Councillor who, when the war troubles came, remained 
faithful to his oaths of office under the Crown, and in 1779 was banished from 
the Province by the Committee of Safety, and died a few years later in exile in 
London, England. Left with no protector and guide, the mother and sister 
rose to the full measure of their duty, educating and training the boy by 
precept and example in those principles of moral and religious duty, honor, 
integrity and benevolence which distinguished his long and useful life. 

Neither did they neglect his mental culture, but gave him every advantage 
in their power for the attainment of knowledge. Their instruction in English 
Literature and Mathematics was supplemented, as has been told, by the teach- 
ing of his step-father, the Rev. Adam Boyd, who was a gentleman of fine 
literary and classical attainments. After a short sojourn at a school in ITilIs- 
boro, N. C, at the age of seventeen years he entered Nassau Hall (now 
Princeton College), New Jersey, fully equipped for competition with the most 
privileged and brightest of his fellow-students. 

At this time the family finances were at a low ebb ; he tells us that he left 
home with a sum of money incredibly small after his matriculation expenses 
were paid. Conscientiously industrious, he made such good use of his time 
that the four years' course of study was completed in three years. His 
youth, his studious habits and his purity of character attracted the attention 
of some of his seniors, who took an interest in him and gave him advice and 
encouragement of great value. Among those to whom he felt specially indebted 
were Robert Goodloe Harper, of Maryland, afterwards distinguished as a 
statesman and jurist and political writer; and Dr. Joseph Caldwell, after- 
wards President of the University of North Carolina, who is remembered to 
have said in later years that he had shed bitter tears at being outstripped by 
his youthful fellow-student. 

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Being unable to bear the expense of the long journey home for his vacation, 
by the advice of Dr. Harper, he spent the holiday months pursuing the study of 
the junior class, with such success that he was promoted to the senior class at 
the next term. He also eked out his resources by following the example of his 
good friend in "tutoring" the younger boys in evening classes. 

Graduating in the summer of 1787, he returned home, taking passage 
with several others on a schooner, which was wrecked at Willoughby's Point. 
The boys were rescued and hospitably cared for by the family of that name ; 
but their clothing and other effects were a total loss. His companions were 
Richard Quince and his cousin, Anthony Toomer. 

In the fall of the same year he returned North to attend the Medical 
School of the University of Pennsylvania. The genius and skill of the cele- 
brated Dr. Benjamin Rush had already given promise of the fame that insti- 
tution was destined to attain. So earnest a student could not fail to win the 
esteem and friendship of the great physician, who soon admitted him to the 
social advantages of his refined home. There he met and enjoyed the honor 
of several interviews with Benjamin Franklin and other eminent men of the 
day ; and the friendship with Dr. Rush's family was cemented and continued 
during a long period of years. Several letters of their family correspondence 
are still preserved and treasured with our family papers. 

Contemporary Account of Conferring the Degree of M. D. on Dr t Armand John deRosset 

by the University of Pennsylvania. 

The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser of June 19, 1790, contains the following 
article : 

"Philadelphia, June 19, 

On Tuesday, June 8, the Commencement was held by adjournment, for the purpose of 
conferring the degree of Doctor of Medicine, in the College hall of this city. The business was 
opened with a prayer, by the Rev. Dr. Smith, Provost of the College. A pertinent address 
was afterwards delivered to the audience, by Dr. Shippen, in which several judicious reasons 
were given for conferring the degree of Doctor, instead of Bachellor of Medicine in the 
College. The following candidates were then examined upon the subjects of their theses by 
the different Professors of Medicine, viz: 

Armand John deRosset, of North Carolina, 

De Febribus Intermittentibus, 
James Proudfit, of the State of New York, 

De Pleuritide Vera. 
John Pennington, of Philadelphia, 

On Fermentation. 

The Latin theses were examined and defended, in the Latin language. The theses on 
Fermentation, which, for the modern terms employed in it, was necessarily written in English, 
was examined and defended in the same language. 

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